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This particular installment of WOMAN KNOW THYSELF is inspired by a very good friend who lives in CENTRAL FLORIDA, and has recently been diagnosed with DIABETES by way of contracting a VAGINAL INFECTION.
If you have DIABETES, a VAGINAL YEAST INFECTION can potentially become a recurring aspect of your life.
What’s the connection, and what can you do to prevent and treat yeast infections?
DIABETES HEALTH reports EVERYDAY HEALTH Dr. CHRIS ILLIADES says;
“Normally, Candida albicans, the fungus that causes yeast infection, lives in balance with the other microorganisms in your body…. But anything that upsets this normal balance can lead to an overgrowth of yeast and can cause a yeast infection.”Dr. ILLIADES adds that ILLNESS, MENSTRUAL PERIODS, PREGNANCY, STRESS, and other types of MEDICATIONS may be catalysts for YEAST INFECTIONS.
Diabetes is one of the things that can upset the normal balance because yeast loves to eat sugar, especially glucose. In fact, they help make beer by eating sugar and turning it into alcohol, and they are crucial in bread-making because after eating sugar, they produce a gas that makes dough rise.
When there’s extra sugar in your blood, there is likely to be more in your vagina and other tissues, so yeast grow better there. Yeast irritating the inside of your vagina is called “vaginitis.” In the tissues around the vagina – the vulva – such irritation is called “vulvitis.” Both are far more common in women with diabetes.
There are many causes of yeast infections. One is the use of antibiotics, which can change the balance in the vagina by killing bacteria, thus allowing yeast to grow unchecked. A common pattern is for a woman to treat a bladder infection with antibiotics, only to wind up with a yeast infection that is just as annoying.
PREVENTING VAGINAL YEAST INFECTIONS:
You can reduce your risk of vaginitis by making the vaginal environment less yeast-friendly. Yeast like warm, moist environments, so avoid wearing tight-fitting pants, spending time in a wet bathing suit, or soaking too long in a hot tub.
Wash your vagina regularly to get rid of yeast, and make sure to dry carefully. It’s OK to use a blow dryer on low to get the area really dry. Because extra glucose in your blood will seep into your vagina and feed yeast, keep your blood glucose as close to the normal range as possible.
Bacteria help control yeast infections, so it’s often a good idea to increase your supply of good bacteria by eating yogurt regularly. Some women apply yogurt directly to their vagina when they have a yeast infection. Although there isn’t much scientific evidence for this, the website Your Yeast Infection says it “is the most common remedy” for yeast infections. The yogurt must not be sweetened because sugar will cancel out the benefits. It must also contain cultures of “acidophilus,” “bulgaricus,” or another live culture of bacteria to be effective. Not all yogurts have these, so consult the label.
You can also take these good bacteria in capsules called probiotics, (the opposite of antibiotics), which are available at most nutrition and health stores. They may help your body’s balance in other ways, especially if you take antibiotics often.
Anemia and lack of sleep also contribute to yeast infections. If you let yourself get run down, you will be at risk.
Douching is thought to contribute to yeast infections, so you might want to avoid it.
BUBBLE BATHS, FEMININE SPRAYS, SANITARY PADS, SCENTED SOAPS-TAMPONS-TOILET TISSUE can irritate the vagina, may also make it easier for an infection to get going.
NEW YORK UNIVERSITY SCHOOL Of MEDICINE Gynecologist Dr. SAMANTHA DUNHAM, MD, says;
“A good rule of thumb is to avoid using anything around the vagina that is scented or dyed or has print on it."
WEB MD reports on TREATING VAGINAL YEAST INFECTIONS:
You have a number of treatment options for a vaginal yeast infection, including nonprescription vaginal medicine, prescription oral or vaginal medicine, or nonprescription vaginal boric acid capsules.
Only use nonprescription vaginal yeast infection treatment without a doctor's diagnosis and advice if you:
- Are not pregnant.
- Are sure your symptoms are caused by a vaginal yeast infection. If you have never been diagnosed with a vaginal yeast infection, see your doctor.
- Have not been exposed to a sexually transmitted infection (STI), which would require a medical exam.
- Are not having multiple, recurrent infections.
Yeast Infection During Pregnancy:
Vaginal yeast infections are common during pregnancy, likely caused by elevated estrogen levels. If you are pregnant, don't assume you have a yeast infection until it is diagnosed, and don't use nonprescription medicines without discussing your symptoms with your doctor.
Vaginal medicine is often used to treat a vaginal yeast infection during pregnancy.
Recurrent Yeast Infection:
For a vaginal yeast infection that recurs within 2 months of treatment, or four times in 1 year (recurrent vaginal yeast infection), see your doctor. Further testing or a different treatment may be needed. If you have been using a nonprescription medicine for your vaginal symptoms, be sure to tell your doctor. This information could affect what treatment is recommended.
Recurrent vaginal yeast infection can be treated with prescription oral medicine, nonprescription vaginal medicine, or vaginal boric acid capsules, followed by less frequent medicine over 6 months to 1 year to prevent reinfection.
A vaginal yeast infection is not a sexually transmitted infection (STI). After having unprotected sex with a partner who has a yeast infection, you may have more than the normal amount of yeast in your vagina. But if after having sex you develop a yeast infection that causes symptoms, it is most likely because other factors are also involved.
It is very important to complete the entire treatment to cure a yeast infection.
TAKE CARE Of YOUR DIABETES, TAKE CARE Of YOUR VAGINA, And TAKE CARE Of YOURSELVES!!!
PEACE, LOVE, And BLESSINGS;